By Agence France Presse
Voigt scores again in Tour Med
Jens Voigt (CSC) padded his lead in the Tour Méditerranéen on Friday, soloing to victory in stage 3 from La Garde to the summit of Mont Faron in Toulon.
The 137km stage was animated at the foot of the day’s first climb, Fourches, at 32km. Five riders – Frenchmen Mickael Delage (Francaise des Jeux) and Lénaïc Olivier (Agritubel), Italian Alessandro Donati (Acqua & Sapone), Estonian Janek Tombak (Cofidis) and the Belgian Kristof Trouvé (MrBookmaker.com)– broke away and built a four-minute lead by 80km.
Behind, Voigt’s team began a chase, assisted by the Gerolsteiner squad of Davide Rebellin. At the foot of Mont Faron, with 5km to go, Voigt and Rebellin took the initiative, joined by Frenchman David Moncoutié (Cofidis) and Italian Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas-Bianchi). This quartet had 50 meters on a small group at 135km, and with 700 meters remaining, there were nine riders contending for the win.
But Voigt delivered the death blow, slipping away toward the victory, his second in this year’s Tour Med.
Saturday’s fourth stage, a 36km team time trial, takes the peloton from Bouc-Bel-Air to Berre-l’Etang.
Stage 3 results
1. Jens Voigt (G), CSC), 137km in 3:38:19 (37,566 km/h)
2. David Moncouti (F), Cofidis, at 0:11
3. Franco Pellizotti (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, s.t.
4. Franck Schleck (Lux), CSC, at 0:18
5. Przemyslaw Niemec (Pol), Team Miche, s.t.
6. Thomas Lovkvist (Swe), Francaise des Jeux, s.t.
7. Laurent Brochard (F), Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
8. Kim Kirchen (Lux), Fassa Bortolo, at 0:24
9. Davide Rebellin (I), Gerolsteiner, at 0:32
10. Matthias Russ (G), Gerolsteiner, at 0: 53
Overall (after 3 stages)
1. Jens Voigt (G), CSC, 10:07:25
2. Franco Pellizotti (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 0:44
3. Franck Schleck (Lux), CSC, at 0:49
4. Kim Kirchen (Lux), Fassa Bortolo, at 0:57
5. Laurent Brochard (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 0:59
6. Thomas Lovkvist (Swe), Francaise des Jeux, s.t.
7. Davide Rebellin (I), Gerolsteiner, at 1:09
8. David Moncouti (F), Cofidis, at 1:10
9. Nicki Sorensen (Den), CSC, at 1:34
10. Thomas Dekker (Ned), Rabobank, at 1:46
Plaza takes stage in Portugal
Spaniard Ruben Plaza (Valence) won the second stage of the Grand Prix International Costa Azul in Portugal, held over a 159.5km loop in Seixal, on Friday.
American Fred Rodriguez (Davitamon-Lotto) sits third overall, 28 seconds back of race leader Plaza.
Saturday’s third stage will be a 158.7km leg in Sines.
GP International Costa Azul
Stage 2 results
1. Ruben Plaza (Sp), Valence, 159.5km in 3:56:15 (40.508 km/h)
2. Alexei Markov (Rus), Milaneza-Maia, at 0:19.
3. Bernhard Eisel (A), Francaise des Jeux, s.t.
4. Enrico Degano (I), Barloworld, s.t.
5. Martin Garrido (Arg), Duja-Tavira, s.t.
Overall (after 2 stages)
1. Ruben Plaza (Esp), Valence, 7:43:12
2. Bernhard Eisel (A), Francaise des Jeux , at 0:28
3. Fred Rodriguez (USA), Davitamon-Lotto, s.t.
4. Alexei Markov (Rus), Milaneza-Maia , at 0:31
5. Sandy Casar (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 0:32
Ailing Wellens to skip World Cup finale
Bart Wellens is ill and will not start Sunday’s final round of the cyclo-cross World Cup in Lanarvilly, according to the Belgian team.
The former world champion will be replaced on the team by Peter van Santvliet.
Reigning world champ and top-ranked rider Sven Nijs will lead the Belgian squad, which also will include Erwin Vervecken, Sven Vanthourenhout, Wim Jacobs, Davy Commeyne, Tom Vannoppen, Bart Aernouts and Jan Verstraeten.
Sprinters set to shine in Ruta del Sol
Spaniard Oscar Freire (Rabobank) and sprinters German Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) and Italian Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) area among the big-name speedsters slated to take part in the 51st edition of Ruta del Sol, which begins Sunday in Andalusia, in southern Spain.
Freire, the three-time world road champion who won the first two stages of the Mallorcan Challenge on February 6 and 7, appears particularly sharp.
On the whole, 105 cyclists on 15 teams – including nine ProTour squads – will tackle the five-stage, 800km Ruta, which boasts plenty of climbing – three first-category ascents, two second-category and seven third-category.
Spaniard Juan Carlos Dominguez won last year’s edition.
Ruta del Sol
Sunday, stage 1 – Benalmadena-Comares, 150.5km
Monday, stage 2 – Antequera-La Zubia (Viola of Cumbres Verdes), 165.7km
Tuesday, stage 3 – Belicena Vegas de Genil-Jaen (163.8km)
Wednesday, stage 4 – Guardia-Cordoue (167.8km)
Thursday, stage 5 – Seville-Chiclana de la Frontera (153.8km)
ProTour: T-Mobile (G), Rabobank (Ned), Davitamon and Quick Step (B); Fassa Bortolo (I); Discovery Channel (USA); Illes Balears, Euskaltel and Saunier Duval (Sp)
Others: Chocolade Jacques and MrBookmaker.com (B); Valence, Kaiku, Relax and Andalusia Paul-Versan
Guidi leaves CSC for Phonak
Fabrizio Guidi has left Team CSC and will join Phonak beginning March 1.
The 32-year-old Italian brings the Swiss formation’s roster to 25 riders.
A professional since 1995, Guidi has ridden for seven teams. He won three stages of the Vuelta a España in 1998 and led the race for three days, and took two stages in the Giro d’Italia, in 1999 and 2000.